But when it came time to pass the more transformative, longer term changes we needed, the lessons of the past two years weren’t enough for some politicians.
The Build Back Better Act would have reset the terms for how child care, housing, and income support operate in our country. It would have extended the Child Tax Credit, created green jobs, and much more.
But every one of the 263 Republicans in the House and Senate — plus Senate Democrat Joe Manchin — opposed it. For this, they were rewarded handsomely by corporate lobbyists. Oil giant Exxon, for example, donated $65,000 to Manchin’s campaign and bragged about their access to the senator, who also owns stock in the company.
A good deal for Manchin. Not so much for the many Americans who can’t fill up their tank for less than $100. We were so close to living in a country where higher gas prices, or an extra few dollars for ground beef, didn’t mean someone going to bed without dinner.
Companies that monopolize these necessities deserve the blame for a lot of inflation, including the rising cost of gas and food. But they’re also to blame for the fact that they don’t pay their workers enough to meet those costs.
Big corporations artificially raise the price of diapers, while also lobbying against extending the Child Tax Credit for people who buy them. The credit has since expired, throwing millions of kids back into poverty.
Banks are benefiting from the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates while also refusing Black people mortgage loans to buy a house and build up generational wealth.